By; Jjunju Francis
11th May 2021
Catholic Communicators have been challenged to base their work from the field and at the grass root if they are to effectively address people’s needs.
Authentic news has to be grounded, researched and presented professionally in the interest to avoid misinformation and misleading reports.
Pope Francis in this 55th message for the world communications day 2021 says, “Insightful voices have long expressed concern about the risk that original investigative reporting in newspapers and television, radio and web newscasts is being replaced by a reportage that adheres to the standard, often tendentious narrative.” This approach deprives a journalist of getting truth and this leads to reportage created in the newsrooms.
This was contained in the address to reflect on the Pope’s 55th world communications day to the Catholic Communicators in Uganda at the conclusion of the annual social communicators meeting and workshop held at Ulrika guest house Kisubi.
Bishop Joseph Franzelli the chairman Uganda Episcopal conference who led the session said unless the media takes self examination on the way it is operating, journalists will remain spectators for all the technical and professional innovations that enable the profession to feel immersed in a larger and more immediate reality.
He said the world has been put on its knees by Covid-19 affecting all sectors but the continued attacks on the journalists today, world over, by governments and security forces calls for more resilience and openness not only on themselves but to the greater good of the oppressed and marginalized groups.
The media has to use the new technology and ideas to be the voice for the voiceless than basing their lenses on the rich and richer nations.
He insisted on responsible journalism free from corruption, deceit, confusion from internet, personalities or personal opinion if Catholic Media is to remain relevant and Evangelising to the peoples.
This year’s 55th world communications day run under the theme; Come and See (John 1:46). Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are. The day was observed scientifically due to Covid-19 restrictions but Bishop Franzelli urged all the communicators numbering 50, to try and celebrate the day when they get back to their home dioceses.
Uganda has got 19 Catholic dioceses each has to have a communications coordinator; other members were drawn from Radios, Television and Print all founded by the Catholic Church in Uganda.
For this year’s Social Communications workshop that started on May 3 to 10, 2021, participants acquired skills in “Monitoring and Evaluation”, “Project proposal writing and other modalities of local fundraising”. This was aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills in writing good projects, monitor and account for all the resources given to support media in the Catholic Church in Uganda.
The Executive Secretary for Social Communications Commission at the Uganda Episcopal Conference Fr. Phillip Odii, acknowledged the importance of trainings and refresher courses for the staff in any institution, because rapid change in technology and environment in which people operate, there is need to always equip journalists, communicator and managers with skills to facilitate their professional performance.
He however reminded them of networking as a key to success.
Fr. Odii also informed the communicators of the AMECEA training on news reporting and AMECEA assembly scheduled to take place in Tanzania in July 2022, and the communications bureau that will be set up will be mandated to update journalists of all catholic media housed in Uganda to disseminate the information to the Christian.
He hailed SIGNIS for always supporting media projects in Uganda.